May 10, 2024

April’s early-stage funding wrapup: Big month for healthtech and UK maintains its crown

April activity was slightly slower than March for early-stage dealmaking in the continent

Deal activity for Europe’s early-stage startups was down in April compared to
the month before.

VCs invested €1.4bn spread across 312 pre-seed, seed and Series A rounds last
month — lower than March’s €1.5bn across 381 rounds, according to Sifted data.

The UK maintained its early-stage crown for funding in Europe, with France
following in second. Germany made it to the third spot.

Early-stage British startups pulled in €314m from VCs in April, down from the €470m they raised in March, while French startups saw an inflow of €272m, down from March’s €301m. German startups raised €211m, up from the €148m they raised in March. 


Vertical-wise, B2B SaaS, Climate tech and Healthtech took the top three spots, pulling in €345m, €333m and €315m respectively. Sector-wise, it was a big month for healthtech, as drug discovery and biotech took the first two spots, pulling in €138m and €135m respectively. Digital lending came in third with €79m. 

Y Combinator, Antler and Bpifrance were the three most active investors last month.

Here are 12 early-stage rounds that caught Sifted’s eye. 


April was a great month for biotech and drug discovery. In the UK, Cambridge-based Biofidelity, a startup focused on building genomic technologies that speed up test results, which then helps physicians recommend timely treatment options, bagged €22m from Agilent Technologies, Octopus Ventures, BlueYard Capital and Longwall Ventures. On the other side of the golden triangle, Oxford-based Infinitopes bagged £12.8m led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from Cancer Research Horizons, Cancer Research Institute, CRIS Cancer Foundation, Kindred Capital, Manta Ray, Martlet Capital, Meltwind Advisory, Saras Capital and Wilbe Capital. Based on a decade of immunology research, the startup builds cancer vaccines using its precision immunomics antigen discovery technologies.

France-based EXO Biologics, which is developing exosome-based therapies for respiratory diseases, neurology and oncology, raised €9m in equity from Noshaq Invest and €7m in grants from the Public Service of Wallonia. 

Enterprise software

Another interesting theme this year has been sales & customer service tech and AI’s role in improving customer service levels, which Sifted covers in our latest briefing on the topic.. In April, Madrid’s Indigitall raised a €6m Series A round from Data Point Capital, GoHub Ventures and Adara Ventures. Customers can use the company’s AI-driven SaaS platform to engage with their own clients across various digital channels, tailoring messaging campaigns to suit the demographics on different platforms. 

Stuttgart-based Markt-Pilot, a pricing platform for machine manufacturers’ spare parts, bagged a €40m Series A which saw participation from Insight Partners and Capnamic Ventures. London-based Swap commerce raised €9m from Cherry Ventures, QED Investors, Klaviyo cofounder Ed Hallen, 2100 Ventures and 9900 Capital. The startup offers a tech stack to e-commerce companies to manage their logistics, returns and inventory management. 


Berlin-based Finmid, which offers deferred payment options, credit lines and cash advances to business customers, collected a €35m Series A from Blossom Capital, Earlybird VC and N26 cofounder Max Tayenthal.

With the US approving a bitcoin ETF earlier this year, investors continued their optimism in Crypto & DeFi (decentralised finance) this month; the sector contributed 15 out of the 58 fintech rounds in April.

Swiss startup Wisdomise, which is an AI-driven crypto investments platform, raised $9.5m from Chainlink Labs, SingularityDAO, VentureSouq, Pontinova Invest, Cetacean Capital and ODE Capital. And in London, X10 exchange, founded by ex-Revolut employees, raised a $6.5m round from Tioga Capital, Semantic Ventures, Cherry Ventures, Starkware, Cyber Fund and Konstantin Lomashuk. 

Climate tech

It was a big month for nuclear energy with some meaty raises. Munich, Germany-based Proxima Fusion bagged a €20m seed round led by Redalpine with participation from Bayern Kapital, DeepTech & Climate Fonds, Max Planck Foundation, Plural, UVC Partners, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Wilbe and Visionaries Club. The startup is building fusion power plants using quasi-isodynamic (QI) stellarators. Blykalla, a Stockholm-based startup, raised 7m from Norrsken, Nucleation Capital, Earth Venture Capital and Farvatn. The startup is building small modular reactors to deliver nuclear fission energy. The smaller size of these reactors is aimed at cutting construction times and costs compared to traditional large-scale plants.

On the energy storage side, Finnish startup Polar night energy bagged a €7.6m seed round from South African billionaire Jonathan Oppenheimer, Stephen Industries, Holdix, PC Rettig & Co. Impact and Turret. The startup is building sand battery technology to store solar and wind power.


Shubham Jaipuria

Shubham is a data analyst intern with Sifted Intelligence, and can be contacted on LinkedIn